Available again with a new introduction by David Bellos, the distinguished translator of Georges Perec and biographer of Romain Gary, "The Roots of Heaven" takes as its subject the deliberate and relentless hunting and killing of elephants for their ivory. Morel, a former dentist whose survival in a Nazi concentration camp he attributes to his fixation on the freedom and companionability of elephants, travels to Africa intent on stopping the slaughter. He circulates a petition demanding their killing be made illegal. It attracts two signers: a disgraced American from the Korean War and a call girl described as "just another animal who needed protection.
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